301/302: A Film By Chul-Soo Park product details page

301/302: A Film By Chul-Soo Park

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Like many of his films, Park Chul-soo's 301, 302 strikes a delicate balance between tragedy and the director's unique brand of dark, impish comedy. The film's central conceit - two women, one obsessed with food, the other unable to eat at all, become neighbors - is as stark as the interiors of the high-rise apartment building where they live. From this reductive structural device Park develops the stories of the two women through flashbacks showing the traumas that caused each of their neuroses. Kang Song-hee (Bang Eun-jin), in apartment 301, is an obsessive gourmet who, thanks to an abusive ex-husband, uses food as a substitute for ******. Across the hall in apartment 302, Kim Yoon-Hee (Hwang Sin-hye), who, at the start of this film, has mysteriously disappeared, developed her eating disorder because of a gruesomely abusive childhood. The reasons for each woman's dysfunction may be a bit pat, but the film is still cruelly engaging because of Park's technique of juxtaposing the stark simplicity of the lives the women have come to lead with the gruesome violence of each of their pasts. Some of the scenes of Kang cooking in her kitchen, which Park shoots in tight, rapidly edited close-ups, come close to combining the two. While Park is a famous director in Korea, with over a dozen films to his credit, 301, 302 is the only one to receive distribution in the United States. Tom Vick, All Movie Guide